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The new PremP109 pear was bred in New Zealand.

The new PremP109 pear was bred in New Zealand.

Asian-European pear

Prevar Limited has licensed the global marketing rights for a new pear variety to the Associated International Group of Nurseries. The pear, known as PremP109, is believed to one of the first interspecific hybrids of Asian and European pears to be commercialized. It was bred by Plant and Food Research (formerly HortResearch) in New Zealand.

The pear is round with a red blush over a yellow background.  Lynnell Brandt, president of AIGN, said the pear is crunchy and very juicy, like an Asian pear, but has the more robust flavor of a European pear.  It is ripe off the tree but has a long shelf life and stores well. Brandt said it should have broad appeal in Asian markets and elsewhere. Feedback from consumer taste panels in New Zealand was very positive.
AIGN, which is a network of nurseries located in many of the world’s fruit production areas, is putting together a global management plan to commercialize the variety. The association provides quarantine, new variety testing, and intellectual property management services to Prevar.

Trees should be available within a year or so, Brandt said, but distribution will be limited. The variety does not yet have a brand name.
Prevar is an international joint venture established to commercialize new apple and pear varieties emanating from the Plant and Food Research apple and pear ­
breeding program.

Fruit committee nominations

Nominations for handler positions in the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee’s District 1 will be accepted at the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association’s annual meeting on November 15 at noon at the Washington Apple Commission’s conference room in Wenatchee. The positions have two-year terms.

Handler members whose positions expire on March 31 next year are Ron Gonsalves (with Ken Brunner, alternate) and Mike Taylor (with Todd George, alternate).

The committee establishes grade, size, pack, and container regulations for fresh sweet cherries produced in designated counties in Washington.

Nominations for a position on the Washington State Fruit Commission board will also be accepted during the Traffic Association’s annual meeting. Position 12 in District 1 is currently held by Robb Myers.

In addition, nominations will be taken for a Washington handler position on the Processed Pear Committee that is currently held by Eric Strutzel with Pat Burnett as first alternate and Dan Kenoyer as second alternate.
For more information, contact B.J. Thurlby at (509) 453-4837.

Washington wine road trip

A group of nearly 40 wine buyers from major U.S. restaurants and retailers visited Washington State in early fall during a road trip through the wine country’s vineyards and wineries as part of an industry effort to raise awareness of Washington wines. The domestic promotion is sponsored by the Washington Wine Commission, and included stops in Seattle and eastern Washington wine grape growing regions. ­Collectively, the group represented more than $750 million in annual purchasing power, making it the most influential group in the program’s three-year history.

Among the guests were the worldwide wine buyer for Costco; four Master Sommeliers (there are just 105 Master Sommeliers in the United States); the nationwide buyer for Vino Volo, a popular chain of wine bars with locations in airports; a regional buyer for Whole Foods; and the sommelier for Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Florida, which boasts the world’s largest restaurant wine list.
The Wine Commission conducts pretour and follow-up surveys of the participants’ wine-buying records and restaurant listings to track changes in their wine listings and purchase decisions.